Odisha Police arrest UP man in fake loan application scam
The Economic Offenses Wing (EOW) of Odisha Police has arrested the owner of IWT India of Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh for allegedly deceiving people through a fake lending mobile app, police say Friday.
The accused identified as Mohd Javed Saifi was arrested on April 4 for his role in lending money at high interest and harassing defaulters through coercive methods.
The arrest was made on the basis of complaints filed by victims and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) regarding the illegal operation of lending apps which are not registered as Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) under of the RBI law.
EOW Bhubaneswar has opened an investigation into one such loan app Koko and its sister version called Jojo. Over 1.5 lakh people, many of them from Odisha, downloaded the two fraudulent loan apps.
IWT India was working as a front company to embezzle the money and its owner Saifi was receiving a small commission, police officials said.
Police discovered that millions of rupees had been traded through IWT India’s account, and Saifi, the account holder, was unable to give satisfactory answers on the transactions, he said. .
During the investigation, the EOW discovered that the apps offered small loan amounts ranging from Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000 to its customers through their bank accounts through UPI or a link.
Once the money was credited to the customers’ bank accounts, the two app managers asked them to repay the loan amount at a high interest rate within a week.
When customers confronted them about the high interest rate, officials started harassing them. Obscene messages and indecent images as well as abusive texts are sent to the client’s WhatsApp number as well as their contact list, EOW officials said.
All of these deals were done using many layers to confuse police and law enforcement.
In this regard, as a first step to prevent further extortion and illegal money lending, the EOW had frozen an amount of Rs 6.57 crore in different accounts of the accused company.
“As the fraud company/application has used many complicated and technical ways to evade detection and confuse the minds of the police, we are bringing in technical experts, bank officials and chartered accountants, etc.”, they said.
In addition, three special teams from the economic crimes wing worked on this case in different states like Maharashtra, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and New Delhi.
State Police officials are also in contact with Telangana/Hyderabad Police for further investigation in this matter.